The Journal of the National Cancer Institute has published a new GenoMEL paper examining the role of chromosomal telomere length in melanoma. The research involved creating a score representing genetically determined telomere length, based on all the established telomere associated genes and found that this score correlated with melanoma risk.
In an associated press release author Dr Mark Iles summarised the research, “Telomeres have been described as being like the plastic tips on shoelaces that protect the shoelace from fraying, just as telomeres protect chromosomes from degrading or fusing to one another. For the first time, we have established that the genes controlling the length of these telomeres play a part in the risk of developing melanoma.”
Telomeres are akin to shoe lace caps (aglets)
The International Journal of Cancer has published a new GenoMEL paper entitled, “Fine mapping of genetic susceptibility loci for melanoma reveals a mixture of single variant and multiple variant regions“. It reports the results of examining genetic data from over 5,000 individuals with melanoma and over 7,000 individuals without melanoma.
The consortium’s coordinator, Prof. Julia Newton Bishop, has been elected to theFellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Academy Fellows are elected for excellence in medical research, innovative application of scientific knowledge or conspicuous service to healthcare. This prestigious award is recognition of Julia’s contribution to understanding melanoma genetics.
The last annual meeting was in Lund, Sweden in May 2015. At this meeting a new related training network was launched called MELGEN (see the MELGEN section of the web site). MELGEN is a Marie Curie training network funded by the EU Horizon 2020 in which 17 new PhD students will be trained across Europe.
Over 60 researchers attended the joint GenoMEL/BioGenoMEL meeting in Valencia in May 2014. There were over 40 scientific presentations of world leading research with additional participation over the Internet. Such e-participation was trialled at this event and is likely to feature again in future meetings. Our thanks go to Dr. Eduardo Nagore and the Fundacion Instituto Valenciano de Oncologia for hosting the meeting.
Researchers at the 2014 meeting
As part of their annual Christmas message to clients, IRT sends a newsletter highlighting a worthy cause. This Christmas IRT highlighted skin cancer and their UK office choose to support GenoMEL. IRT is the leading international horse transport company with its global headquarters in Australia and so skin awareness is a particularly relevant issue. We are very grateful for their donation of £1,500.